Ashton Vale Club for Young People, a community-based charity in Bristol, has been announced as the third winner of the Virgin Media O2 Captain Tom Foundation Connector Award.
The Virgin Media O2 Captain Tom Connector Award, inspired by the late Captain Sir Tom Moore, aims to recognise local groups and community initiatives with an injection of tech and connectivity to help them do even more great work.
Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore, visited Ashton Vale Club for Young People to present them with the award and to discover some of the work that they do in the local community.
Ashton Vale Club for Young People is one of Young Bristol’s community-based youth centres for young people aged 8-19 and provides a range of activities to improve their health and wellbeing, enhance social cohesion, and encourage success in education and employment.
When the pandemic hit, Ashton Vale Club for Young People had to close its doors, but still delivered a virtual youth club for its members over Zoom. Additionally, one-to-one support was offered to more vulnerable individuals during the lockdown period, and families were sent sports packs, creative arts equipment, and internet access packs to use.
Throughout the summer holidays, the club runs a school holiday programme which provides creative arts and sports activities as well as food, combating the issue for hunger during school breaks.
Like most charities in the UK, many can do even more with funding as well as improved digital means such as fast broadband and tech to aid their efforts.
As part of winning the Virgin Media O2 Captain Tom Connector Award, Ashton Vale Club for Young People has been given gigabit broadband and a tech bundle worth up to £5,000 with items such as a smart TV, tablets, laptops and much more.
The charities base in Bristol has been connected to Virgin Media’s Gig1 service, which provides broadband speeds 22 times faster the UK average.
Lucy Saunders, Ashton Vale Club for Young Bristol’s Development and Fundraising Manager, said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Ashton Vale Club for Young People is the third winner or the Virgin Media O2 Captain Tom Foundation Connector Award. Being able to support the local young people and community means everything to us, and it’s an honour to win this award from Virgin Media O2. With the prize money, we have been able to purchase iPads and other tech equipment for the club which has meant we have been able to keep members more connected, and we cannot wait for the gigabit broadband to help us to connect even more.”
Hannah Ingram-Moore, Director at the Captain Tom Foundation said:
“It is an honour to be announcing the third winner of the Virgin Media O2 Captain Tom Foundation Connector Award. Ashton Vale Club for Young People is so deserving of this award as they proved to be a vital lifeline during the pandemic. At such a distressing time for many, they ensured a community remained as one. We can’t wait to see what this vital injection of gigabit broadband and tech prizes can do for future projects.”
Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media O2, said:
“The Virgin Media O2 Captain Tom Connector Award is all about recognising the local heroes and charities in the UK that have helped their communities during this difficult time.
“We know that they can all do with a helping hand and we’re honoured to recognise Ashton Vale Club for Young People as the third winner of the award. Our gigabit broadband service as well as a host of tech prizes will help them do even more amazing things in their community.”
Over the coming months, Virgin Media and the Captain Tom Foundation will be selecting further winners of the award.